x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Three accused of land scam

Plots in London sold for Dh30 million were useless, court told.

ABU DHABI// Three British men conned Dh30million out of 40 UAE residents by selling them overpriced and useless land in London, a court has heard.

The three men placed adverts in local newspapers a year ago offering the plots of land in the north of the city for between Dh30,000 and Dh60,000.

Not only did they have no right to sell the land on behalf of its owner, but the plots were worth much less than the selling price because they were agricultural land and ineligible for planning permission, prosecutors say. Police confiscated Dh100,000 found in a search of the men's company offices and homes, and froze Dh250,000 in the company's bank account.

Two of the men denied the charges in court. They insisted they had been acting as estate agents in good faith, and still represented the owner of the land. The third man is being tried in his absence.

The defence will present its case to the Court of Misdemeanours on April 2.

hdajani@thenational.ae